Ponds add beauty, value, and enjoyment to a person’s property, but only if they are clean and algae-free. It does not take long for the pond to transform from a glistening oasis to a muddy green mosquito breeding ground in the humid summer months. Mosquitos and algae thrive in still water, creating an ugly and irritating water pool that smells terrible and potentially dangerous.
Adding a pond fountain is the best way to prevent these pond pests. Fountains keep the water moving, which helps stop mosquito breeding and algae growth while adding an extra layer of visual interest to the pond. Installing a fountain in a pond may seem like an overwhelming task, but the process can be demystified quickly with the right instruction.
Determining Fountain Location
Before a pond fountain can be secured, it is critical to find the best location for it. Picking the best spot for the fountain involves some key considerations, including:
Depth of the Water
Some ponds are quite deep, especially if they are not man-made. However, the best spot for a fountain, especially an aeration fountain, is in water that is no deeper than six feet.
The shape of the Pond
Aeration fountains should be used on relatively circular ponds, as the unit is not likely to aerate all parts of an irregularly shaped pond. Decorative fountains will not have the same limitation, so where it is located is up to the pond owner.
Size of the Pond
Larger ponds require larger fountains. The size of the fountain also determines the height of the fountain’s spray, which should be half of the width of the pond, at most. If the spray pattern is tall and wide, then that will affect where the fountain is located.
Once a fountain location is chosen, it is time to decide which securing method is best for the pond. Depending on the size, shape, and depth of the pond, there are a few different methods to consider, including:
A mooring is a structure to which an object can be secured. Typically, this term is used for securing boats, but it also applies to securing pond fountains. This method is used most frequently in small ponds but can be used in large ponds under the right conditions.
The mooring method involves installing either duckbill anchors, wooden stakes, or rebar at the bottom of the pond to which polypropylene rope or stainless steel cable mooring lines are attached. The fountain is secured to each line, which prevents it from moving out of place. Because mooring lines are underneath the water, they are barely visible.
To use this method, installers should start by installing one mooring line and launching the fountain into the water. Next, walk another mooring line to the opposite side of the pond and secure it. Repeat these steps as many times as needed to secure the fountain. Mooring lines should be somewhat slack to allow for water level fluctuations.
If the mooring method is not an option or is not preferred, anchoring is the next method used for securing a pond fountain. Anchoring is an excellent option for larger ponds and lakes where the bottom of the body of water is not easily accessible. There are two ways to anchor a fountain in place, including:
Concrete blocks are used in a similar fashion to duckbill anchors in the mooring method. Rather than install anchors at the bottom of the pond, lines are tied to the anchor, and it is dropped into the water at the correct location. Anchors are placed around where the fountain will be located directly opposite each other to ensure the fountain stays in one place.
The rope used to secure the fountain to concrete blocks should be one-eighth to one-quarter-inch thick. Those installing the fountain will need to use a boat to get the anchors in the correct spot. Anchors should be at least eight feet apart for small ponds and twenty feet apart for large ponds.
When anchoring a fountain, it is important that the anchor weight is sufficient for the chosen unit. Fountains with higher horsepower will require a larger weight to keep it from moving out of place. For example, a ⅓ HP pond fountain needs weights that weigh 15 lbs each, whereas a 5 HP fountain needs weights that are 75 lbs each.
The shoreline method of securing a fountain is best for use in small ponds, though many fountain owners opt for the anchoring method, as well. This method involves tying one end of a rope to the fountain and tying the other end onto stakes located on the shore of the pond. Stakes should be deep in the ground to prevent it from moving if the ground becomes wet.
Once one line is staked to the shore, the fountain can be set in the water. The next line can be walked to the opposing side and staked in place, repeating the steps for as many stakes as is necessary for the pond. It is important that installers are careful not to get mud in the fountain pump while installing it, as this could damage the fountain significantly.
Like most fixtures on a person’s property, fountains require some maintenance. The intake on the pump can get clogged with weeds, algae, leaves, fishing line, and more. The fountain should be flushed with clean water at least once per season to prevent damaging buildup. Some dirtier ponds may require more frequent cleanings.
Fountain pumps should never be allowed to run without being submerged in water. If water levels drop low enough that the fountain is exposed, it should be turned off immediately, or it will burn out.
Pond fountains are both a beautiful and useful addition to any pond. The first step in installing a fountain is securing it in place. For those considering putting a pond fountain on their property, contact Living Water Aeration now for installation services, tips, and more.